Sunday, 9 June 2013


My friend Pauline and I had planned to go to Harrogate this year to visit Art from the Heart.  You see, we were keen to book a couple of classes with Dyan Reaveley, but do you know what? 

Dyan came to us instead!  Well, to the south that is.... to
Faversham in Kent. She was running four classes this weekend but we
decided all four might be too much to absorb all at once, so we
booked two and plan to go to Harrogate another time for more. 

I love art journaling and you can see one of the first pages I ever
made here. I still remember how powerful it was to produce this page and I had it in mind to buy a 'proper' art journal and materials so I can be more serious in my intent. And finally, yesterday I did just that! 

Pauline and I were so excited to be meeting Dyan, and we soon got down to making a mess.  Now you know how it is when you have a brand new book of beautiful blank pages...  you want to stroke them and perhaps put it aside for something 'special'.  Well, Dyan was having none of that!  She ran a tight ship and when she said open a page, pick up a Dylusion spray and use it on the page, well we did!  We were told not to spend time choosing a colour - just take the first one you reach out for.  And we did!  Then we had to repeat this on another blank page.  Third time we were primed and about to spray... when Dyan said  'spray the persons page sitting next to you'! 

Then we had to tear two pages from our book, and a strip out of another page...  all this done quickly and without opportunity to think about what we were doing.  Which is probably just as well!  It felt very liberating to act so fast and unconsciously... which for me is what art journaling is about: the freedom to express yourself, with the focus on process rather than a plan or outcome. 

After this we set about making some background pages. Dyan is an excellent teacher, and not only that, she is one of the most modest and generous artists I have met.  She invited photographs and said her sole intent is to encourage others to try art journaling.  That her work is just 'paper and paint'... and if 'copying' her work gave others the confidence to give it a go, then that was fine.  She said we could share her work, did not need to give her credit... and her whole attitude was so relaxed and giving. I am sure this allowed us to be less precious with our own work and to experiment and be playful.   

The classes ran from 9am to 6.30pm and we learned different techniques including how to spray, stamp, mask, use hand writing, college, and create different effects. Now my confidence is boosted there will be no looking back!!   Here is my new book looking pristine:

 And soon after, with pages torn out and covered in ink:

A page in progress:
And one completed:

I didn't think I would achieve so much in one day and a part from enjoying everything I learned it was pure pleasure to meet Dyan.  She was so inspirational and says that art feeds her soul.... I know mine was truly satisfied yesterday. 

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